Articles and interesting facts about the SCRIPT team
NPP SCRIPT pilot 2
BY JOHN BURNS
SCRIPT pilot 2 took place at Phoenix Futures residential rehab facility in the Wirral, UK in March 2020. Myself and the NPP team went into our second pilot of the SCRIPT handbook feeling a lot more confident in both ourselves and the process than we did the first time around. Our first pilot saw us taking a previously unedited version and untested version of IO1 into the field for implementation. This second pilot we were armed with a version of the IO that had been tested revised and any kinks ironed out.
The cohort of participants taking part in our second pilot were young people in recovery for substance misuse, similar to our first pilot, but this group of young people brought with them their own stories and their own issues.
This Pilot saw our team run 2 sessions a week for 4 weeks for a couple of hours a session, perhaps one of the most time constricted residencies I personally have ever been part of. It’s always a daunting prospect having to take a group of people not used to working in the arts and produce a finished product to be proud of, couple this with the complexities of the needs of our young people and top it off with a very tight time frame in which to do it, its safe to say that this pilot was a challenging task from the get go.
Having said this I feel the NPP team performed absolutely outstandingly during this pilot, and the young people, in spite of their issues were one of the most willing and outgoing group I have ever had the pleasure to have worked with. Throughout the weeks the young people too to every task an exercise both myself and Rachel gave to them with great confidence.
The young people taking part in the project had no problems what so ever with taking part in every part of the process of SCRIPT, from performing, creating content, writing dialogue and picking music. One of the young people taking part in the project even performed live using a guitar and this recording was used on the final piece. The members of the group were very very supported of one another and even when parts were divided up to individuals there was no jealousy amongst the cast and each member took the part they were given and made the utmost of it.
This cohort has easily got to be the one that I have felt it easiest to work with of any project I have take part in as they were such a supportive group both of each other and of myself and Rachel. When things weren’t going well or we were up against it they rallied around and made the work happen. I thoroughly enjoyed this pilot and the final production was one of the highest quality.
I feel the handbook’s second incarnation is a fantastic resource for outreach youth workers across Europe and will be an very useful asset for anybody who pics up the SCRIPT modules and implements them in hard to reach communities.
TACC PARTICIPANTS OF LIVERPOOL TRANSNATIONAL MEETING GIVE THEIR CONCLUSIONS OF THEIR EXPERIENCE
14th JANUARY 2020
BY JOHN BURNS, NO PLACE PRODUCTIONS
25th NOVEMBER 2019
Drama Experience at Liverpool by Carlos
Our training course at Liverpool was interesting for different reasons. First of all, about drama exercises. To practise the exercises in the handbook add a very important perspective of it. Even more, if it’s the first time you do it or if you.
Sometimes only reading an exercise you can’t catch all its potential or you have a prejudice about if it will run or not in your group. But when you live the experience it’s easier to understand and enjoy it.
I have seen we have some common or similar exercises, but I learnt some new that I liked a lot. My favourite was the one with the shoes and the characters. With a simple object you can project a lot of things about the person who wear it. We can analyse too our prejudices and the ones of the group.
Besides, I liked the play of the first day. With a minimum scenography they could express a lot of sensations. We could see the wall between them even it wasn’t there physically. That distance was also present in the dialogs. In the things they said and in the things they didn’t. I had difficulties about the language to understand all the script, but it wasn’t a problem because it was complemented with the performing abilities. It’s the magics of theatre…
Maybe I’d completed some exercise to train the voice projection, the pronunciation, the breath or something similar, being as we’ll represent our creations as a pod plays and our voice will be the most important tool to perform. But I’m conscious that we had a few times to see a lot of things and is necessary to go step by step.
I’m confident about the process we’ll begin in a few weeks and about the motivation of our members. Besides, the experience was very positive because the partners from different countries and with the team partners. Interact with other professionals is the essence of that KA02 projects and is a very valuable opportunity that I appreciate having lived it.
My experience in SCRIPT project, by Celeste
It was my second trip to the United Kingdom. I am a 25 year old girl, Spanish, with more fears than ambitions at that time, and curled up, because my level of English is not very high would be such.
In the SCRIPT project I have been able to work social skills with people very different from me; that allowed us all to open more our views on things, but above all, it allowed us to see that despite being from such different countries, d
I was scared but at the same time, I really wanted to, and the truth is that I never imagined that my experience despite having such diverse ideologies, we all had something in common: that we worked for the full integration of a vulnerable group, such as children and young people, and that we all act as figures of change.
By putting the pilot test into practice, we were able to perform a lot of dynamics, of knowledge, cohesion, teamwork, trust, empathy … If I had to choose one of the activities we do, it would be impossible, since all of them contributed something small or very important.
But one of the last dynamics we did was “take a picture”, which consists of putting the dynamic group in a circle, and spontaneously, the people of the group, randomly, had to go out to the centre, and represent things that they saw that were missing in the “photograph”, with the aim of making it very complete. Personally, I liked this activity a lot, because it was one of the many in which empathy and teamwork were paramount, since you had to observe well what your teammates represented to identify what was missing or could be added to the picture. Finally, throughout this small but intense experience, I was able to set aside fears, and thanks to that, I have set new goals and challenges.
This experience has been very enriching for me, not only for allowing me to abandon my fears and learn from everything that has been taught to me, but also because I have gained so much knowledge, experience, language, and desire to live.
My experience in Liverpool, by Alba
The last month of November the team from TACC of Spain visit Liverpool to take part of the Project of SCRIP.
First of all, my personal experience is very Good in all fields, people, activities, food, city… If I had commented something negative is about the language, but this is personal since I don’t have the level required to participate fluently in the different activities.
But once you overcome the language barrier the program was an interest and more funny. The dynamics are useful in different situations and with different groups, I take many of the future groups I worked with.
On the other band, being able to know different profiles of other cities that have such a a similar purpose to yours made that much more interesting and enriching.
In short, it motivated me to learn more English, to continue in the theater and to perform these dynamics in my language so that I could get much more out of them. For that reason I just thank you for the hospitality and I am looking forward to seeing the team again for this time to work on the project.
Today was the first day of our C1 and C2 training which we were hosting in Liverpool, and I was a mixture of nervous and excited. We were hosting our partners and their representatives from all over Europe and we would have a full week ahead of training and bonding.
We decided that today we would do something special to open up the weeks proceedings, we decided to perform our show Revolving Door for our partners and give them an insight into how NPP uses the ethos of Co-production in projects outside of SCRIPT in order to create the best possible programmes and shows possible for our participants. We also specifically chose to perform Revolving Door today as Monday 25th November marks ‘International day for the elimination of violence against women’.
The premise of the day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence; furthermore, one of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden. Revolving Door is a piece that was specifically designed to highlight troublesome relationships that often involved abuse on multiple levels, the story shows how controlling behaviour and mental abuse can often be one of the harshest forms of domestic violence.
This show is something that myself and Rachel are immensely proud of as the show was co produced alongside people with lived experience of abusive relationships and everything in the performance has and does happen every day. We performed and then our lead workshop facilitator Carl ran a workshop which gave audience members a chance to ask the characters questions. This second part of the production was absolutely outstanding, all of our partners and their young people were fantastic asking some questions we had never been asked before, and their appreciation of the hard work that had gone into this show through the means of co-production was very touching for both of us.
Today was a great way to mark a very important day with our European participants with a piece that encompasses and embodies both the ideologies and methods of SCRIPT, but also reinforces the message of the day.
Beginning in November 2018, this Erasmus+KA2 project takes place over 2 years in which 5 organizations over 4 European Countries, all leaders in their fields, have already come together to coproduce a brand new, unique multimedia Drama informal learning program. SCRIPT is developing the learning and emotional needs of Europe’s most excluded young people.
Innovatively designed for youth work practitioners specifically when engaging with socially excluded young people aged 18-25, SCRIPT is transversal in its ability to work in a plethora of outreach settings, including but not limited to young offenders institutions, prisons, probation centers, youth and community centers.
During the lifespan of this 2 year project, the 5 lead organizations in the UK, Romania, Spain and Greece have communicated with socially excluded young people, youth workers and stakeholders to collaboratively develop, test and imbed a set of mutually reinforcing coproduced informal learning resources, including – The SCRIPT Handbook – a program of interactive drama exercises and multimedia techniques, which gave socially excluded young people a platform to design, create, perform and produce their own Radio Play.
In the case of Greece, United Societies of Balkans have communicated with Roma people of disadvantaged areas of the region of Thessaloniki. A team of 5 Roma people has been created, which got to work together so as to produce a podcast with a fictional Script that again they have created by themselves.
During the 5 meetings, participants have been involved in “Confidence Building” and “Communication and Understanding” Exercises. After being well connected to each other they got to brainstorm ideas on their script.
They got to work with “Audacity” Platform online and, record, edit and listen finally their podcast.
The produced podcast is actually a story that they created about a girl, who wanted to be a dancer, facing pressure from her family settings not to do that and follow a university path instead. The whole story is a story of following her dream and got finally accepted from her family for her passion for dancing.
In the last meeting, participants got to listen to their podcast and finally celebrate the whole procedure of creating it.
Through this activity and the digital skills that participants gained, they got to integrate in a better way in the society and certainly, now they have the skills to create their own podcast and deal with projects regarding radio.
Right before any project meeting I get a feeling of nervousness and excitement in the pit of my stomach, I am consumed with hope and aspiration and willing us to have a fun, energetic and enlightening meeting. Partnership meetings are precious, meeting with partners face to face, building relationships and special opportunities to make strides within project development.
Barcelona was the venue of the third partnership meeting of SCRIPT, a particularly exciting meeting as all partners have completed their first piloting of the SCRIPT methodology within various settings including prison and community venues. It was a meeting to be celebrated, the meeting came to life due to partners executing their feedback so well and providing such an in-depth insight into the journey their participants and youth workers have experienced to date. There was a ripple of joy within the room, we feel we are heading towards an impactful destination and felt a sense of privilege that we are all part of it.
The meeting was underpinned with structure and efficiency but without compromise of creativity, we undertook workshops to make key decisions within the project and encouraged each other to express our vision for the project moving forward. There was an exemplary participatory approach with partners committing to various tasks to enhance the project according to the recommendations of young people, youth workers and stakeholders such as discussing a comprehensive validation framework.
The creative juices continued to flow after the meeting with partners choosing to eat together, Barcelona is gastronomic and sharing tapas allowed us to continue discussions raised within the meeting but also learn more about each other as individuals. Socialising together also sparks new ideas to broaden working relationships and source new opportunities to widen and strengthen the impact within social inclusion.
Barcelona was boss!
Barcelona hosted the third SCRIPT international meeting
After the first SCRIPT international meeting was organised in Liverpool and the second was set in Thessaloniki, Barcelona was the location for the third international meeting of the project.
At this meeting the main theme that was presented was he SCRIPT dissamination plan. In addition, during the meeting other themes were presented by the different SCRIPT organization participants.
One of the most important themes was to assess by all the organizations of the project how the first pilot test had been carried out. Furthermore, other improvements were presented to apply them in the second pilot test. Also, during the second pilot test, the different organizations decided that the capacities and the skills of the youngsters and the workers involucrated in SCRIPT will be analized and evaluated.
About TACC pilot test, it is focused in Barberà del Vallès (a city 20km near from Barcelona), specifically in Espai Jove El Forat (El Forat Youth Center). In this center the youth workers are implicated with the youngsters who participate in it.
Futhermore, the Barcelona meeting was very interesting because the SCRIPT web was presented to the other participants of the project. This web has been made by TACC and will be the main resource to spread all the information of SCRIPT.
SCRIPT @ Phoenix Futures
BY John Burns, NPP Co-Director
SCRIPT at Phoenix Futures, Liverpool UK in March 2019 was the first of our pilots for IO1 (Intellectual output 1) – the SCRIPT Handbook. Although myself and NPP have worked delivering drama learning group projects in the past, and also worked at Phoenix futures before, to say I was nervous would have been some what of an understatement. This is the first time we have ever been part of a European project, and we are leading on the KA2 project too which meant it was a little added pressure than normal.
Initially we had a large group of participants in our first session, but eventually the numbers reduced slightly leaving us with a core group of 8, who worked very hard to achieve a great end product. Early on in the process it was difficult to create relationships with the members of the group as for the most part, they had been through a tough time and found it hard to open up and trust. Throughout the weeks, both myself and my delivery partner Rachel slowly built bonds with members of the group and they opened up, using their own personal experiences to inform the end product. Both the male and female members of our group spoke about past experiences they had gone through, both good and bad, which they used elements of to write our story.
Confidence within our group was something that I was most astounded by in terms of growth. Some members, although present at sessions, were initially a little reluctant to be involved as much as we asked and often did the bare minimum. As the weeks went by more confident members of the company encouraged their fellow actors to become more involved within sessions. As members of the group grew in confidence and became more vocal and active within sessions this also translated to their every day lives outside of SCRIPT. One member of our group became more involved within groups surrounding his recovery, and even began speaking up more in meetings within the house. One of our female members of the theatre company, actually took on the role of “deputy house manager” within the rehab. This growth and taking on board of more responsibility both within sessions of SCRIPT and within their own lives shows the fantastic effect that our programme can have on the lives of those involved. Since our pilot ended deputy house manager, *Jane, is pursuing a career in recovery, aiming to give back to the place that helped her. One of our other participants, *Connor has taken to volunteering more and is also pursuing further learning around acting, writing and performance due to his experiences with SCRIPT.
I can honestly say that the pilot 1 of IO1 SCRIPT handbook was one of the most rewarding pieces of work I have done. Not only did I find fulfilment professionally, I also found a great sense of fulfilment on a personal level as I watched the young people involved in the project grow. Although the handbook is still a work in progress, I firmly believe that with feedback and continued coproduction, IO1 pilot 2 will be an even bigger success.
Romanian Collaboration for The Piloting of SCRIPT Project
As part of the development of SCRIPT, CPIP contributes to the underlying main purpose of the project: social inclusion and increasing general social and psychological skills of young inmates. The project intends to approach this aim through delivering drama techniques for the inmates in order to increase their expressivity and soft skills.
In Romania, the SCRIPT Project is sustained by three stakeholders. Namely, for the practical piloting activities, CPIP has concluded collaboration agreements with The Penitentiary from Timisoara, The Educational Center from Buzias and The Arad Penitentiary.
Representatives of the two detention centers, The Penitentiary of Arad, the Penitentiary of Timisoara and of the Educational Center from Buzias took part in a drama workshop organized by CPIP, having as facilitator the volunteer actress Diana Cojocaru. During the workshop, educators, social workers and psychologists from the three correctional institutions were introduced to and took actively part in drama exercises having as purpose the increase of emotional wellbeing and self-esteem of marginalized categories.
The three institutions will be further active in the project by piloting drama exercises with the young people inside their premises, as well as in a final pilot activity, namely in producing a podcast with the inmates.